Minnesota man challenges Biden mandate requiring vaccination for remote workers

Although Gateley works from home full-time, the federal contractor mandate still applies to him and all remote workers.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021. (White House/Flickr)

At least one Minnesota worker has signed on to a lawsuit challenging one of President Joe Biden’s COVID vaccine mandates.

John Gateley, a St. Paul man who works remotely for Okta, a federal contractor, joined the class action suit after his company obliged him to get vaccinated per the federal mandate.

“If Mr. Gateley does not comply with the Federal Contractor Vaccine Mandate and submit his proof of vaccination, his employer will be forced to place him on unpaid leave, followed by termination if he still does not comply,” reads the complaint.

Although Gateley works from home full-time, the federal contractor mandate still applies to him and all remote workers, unless they are able to secure religious or medical exemptions.

“This unprecedented coercive tactic compels many Americans to receive a vaccine they do not need or want, erodes their personal liberty, and inflicts irreparable harm upon millions of workers all without lawful basis,” reads the complaint.

Filing the class action lawsuit against President Biden and his administration is the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA). The nonprofit and nonpartisan civil rights group wrote a press release announcing the lawsuit on Tuesday.

“The President cannot exercise authority this sweeping under the guise of ‘procurement’ in the absence of clear and explicit congressional authorization,” reads the press release. “The attempt to control the personal health decisions of Americans through general procurement authority is a question of deep economic and political significance. Congress did not provide — nor does the Procurement Act allow — the President to have this power.”

The plaintiffs are seeking judicial relief from the mandate and two subclasses, one for contractor employees who’ve acquired natural immunity to COVID, another for remote workers. Their lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court’s Western District of Michigan.

In a statement, NCLA Senior Litigation Counsel John Vecchione claimed Biden’s vaccine mandate would “curtail federal access to the economy and shrink the output of firms contracting with the federal government.”

“This federal edict is unlawful, and the Court should strike it down,” he added.